Get a buddy

Who would make up your startup dream team?
Who would make up your startup dream team?

Okay, we know that you’re a solopreneur, but that doesn’t mean you really have to do it all alone.

In addition to outsourcing, you can share support, heartaches and productivity tips with a fellow solopreneur, herein referred to as your buddy.

Your buddy is someone who reminds you that it’s okay to ask for help. Ideally they’re also a small business owner or solopreneur, and are either in a similar stage of their business or a bit ahead of you.

Buddies offer each other support when they’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or just plain lonely. Buddies give each other a much needed break from being a leader, and make it okay to say “I don’t know.”

Buddies can hold you to that schedule you created in section one while encouraging you to seek balance. They’re great for weekly (or daily) phone calls to make sure you’ve met your goals. They can be a sounding board for creative ideas or a shoulder to cry on in times of failure.

Who knows? You may even find your buddy relationship leading to a more formal partnership or joint venture. If that happens…

Be open to change

Like collaborating with freelancers, starting a joint venture or partner project can be terrifying, especially if you thought you’d always be on your own.

Business partnerships are just like romantic relationships – you have to compromise, listen, communicate your needs and clean up after yourself.

Even if you’ve mastered all of our productivity tips, you still may feel apprehensive at the idea of working with a partner. After all, in addition to sharing responsibilities, you’ll also be sharing the success, profits and notoriety. And who wants to give any of that up?

It’s perfectly fine to stay solo. However, should a partnership opportunity present itself, take a few deep breaths before making any rash decisions.

After all, wildly successful companies like Infusionsoft, Hewlett Packard, and McDonald’s all have strong business partnerships at their core. Heck, even Coco Chanel, who partnered with Pierre Wertheimer, found strength in numbers.

Working with a partner, even on a small project or joint venture, provides you with opportunities you may never have as a solopreneur. Partnerships provide double the resources, double the networking connections, and – dare we say it? – double the fun!

Partnering has its share of challenges, of course. Be sure to test drive your partner with a smaller project before committing to a long term venture. You’ll want to make sure that your personal working styles, communication skills and expectations are well suited to each other, and that you share similar goals for the direction of the venture.

If you only remember one of our solopreneur productivity tips, remember this one: always get it in writing!

Even if you’re working on a limited project that takes up a short amount of your time and a small amount of resources, create a basic written agreement that you both approve of.

Even if no money is being made or exchanged, you and your partner are creating intellectual property together, and that has value.

Even if (no, especially if) you’re friends with your partner, always get it in writing. It’s better to endure a modicum of awkwardness now than a hugely-giant-messy-awful-heartbreaking lawsuit later.

With these productivity tips, you’ll effortlessly move into the role of a savvy solopreneur who meets scheduling, organizational, leadership and collaborative challenges with ease and grace.


1. Slim, Pamela. The Partnership Playbook.


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